Friday, June 1, 2012

Canadian Weekly Features Cochin's Linda Hertzman as 'Spice Chef'

By Bala Menon

The Canadian Jewish News,  an independent community newspaper read by more than 200,000 people each week, has a feature in its latest issue about Linda Hertzman (née Salem), pictured here.

 The article titled "Chef influenced by spices of Native India" focuses on Linda's culinary successes  and how she "routinely wows Vancouver's Jewish Community with exceptional food that goes far beyond ordinary Ashkenazi fare".

Linda grew up in Cochin's (Kochi) Jew Town. The article gives a biographical sketch - she made aliyah in 1983 but came to Toronto soon after marriage - and about her studies in food service and restaurant management in Canada and her family's first venture - the Raisins, Almonds & More kosher food store in Toronto.  The Hertzmans later moved to Vancouver with their three children -  where they purchased a restaurant and called it Aviv's Kosher Meats, with Linda working in the kitchen and then branching out into catering. She now runs the very successful company called Classic Impressions,  specializing in gourmet kosher cuisine for any occasion, from "elaborate b’nei mitzvah receptions to intimate brisses, luncheons, weddings and everything in-between," according to her website. "Our reputation is for food that lingers in memory long after the last forkful has been consumed." Her Toronto-born husband Steve manages the Kosher Food Warehouse in Vancouver.

The article quotes her: "“I put a lot of Indian fusion into my dishes, making items like kubegh, a dumpling with a meat filling, and pastels, similar to blintzes but more savoury,” she says. “I love playing around with flavours, trying out different things and then having the satisfaction of seeing people enjoy my food.”

It's all about themes these days - as Linda says: “We’ll still have salmon on the menu, but it’s more likely to be miso salmon than lemon pepper.”

Linda has shared the miso salmon recipe for readers of this blog:

For 6 portions:
1 cup miso paste
1/2 cup brown sugar or honey
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp fresh minced ginger
2 tsp fresh minced garlic
1/4 cup rice vinegar
Bring the sauce up to boil -  cool down.
Marinate the salmon for up to 24 hours.
Grill or bake the salmon. 

Note: Miso  is a savoury, fermented bean paste made from soybeans; sometimes mixed with rice, barley, or wheat which has been fermented with yeast. The mixture is sometimes aged for up to three years. Miso is high in sodium.

The full article from the CJN can be read here.


  1. WOW! Linda, that's look great. Knowing you as the naughty, little girl you were, I would've never have imagined you becoming a CHEF out of all professions....Will have to visit Vancouver just to taste your delicious cuisine♥♥

  2. really WOW||||||||||||||| we are really proud of you as we say in Hebrew KOL HAKAVOD Linda.

  3. It was great fun to spend some hours with you on your recent visit to Cochin, Linda and Steve. As usual, Jew Town food is still the best!!! Your surprise anniversary party for your parents was a thoughtful idea and went off so well. All the best to you both and your children.

  4. Nice to know abt. Linda. all the best!

  5. wow, this is super cool! Congratulations :)

  6. Well done Linda, wishing you every success.......

  7. Well Done, Linda...LoL, Remembering all those times I have dropped into Raisins, Almonds & More on my way home...Was great seeing both of you after so many years

  8. This is Great News,Linda!You are a Genius! Congratulations!
    We are proud of you. Wishing you all the success in the future.

  9. Linda!!! Great news Chef of the year!! Proud of you!!

  10. Wow!!...this is great...all the best Linda....Suchitra

  11. Mazal Tov Linda, waiting to taste all your great dishes (when are you coming to cook?)
    Kol Hakavod
    Love from all of us